James Amour

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. Today’s post introduces James Amour, who is a first-year ministry apprentice at Charlotte Baptist Chapel in Edinburgh.

 

James Amour

What did you do before your apprenticeship?
I worked in a marketing agency as a digital designer. 

 

What are you learning on your study programme at Cornhill?
I’m learning that my body doesn’t like early starts as well as how to study the Bible, how to interpret passages truthfully, and how to faithfully and effectively convey these truths to others. 

 

What does ministry look like day to day?
My days are very varied but an average day would consist of some reading and studying in the morning. Then, in the afternoon I might have a meeting or study with someone. In the evening I might have a ministry to attend such as the student ministry or home group study. 

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
The most important thing I’m learning is what goes on in a church behind the scenes. It’s quite humbling to see the paid staff as well as church members so committed to their roles and tasks. Everyone is working hard and diligently to see the people of Edinburgh come to Christ. It’s inspired me to be a red-hot church member wherever I end up in the future. 

 

What are you learning through mentoring?
My mentor is Liam Garvie. Meeting with Liam on a weekly basis is undoubtedly the highlight of the week. He teaches us how to read and study the Bible for ourselves, we review and discuss books, and ask him questions about ministry that might be on our minds. 

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I’m not yet sure if I would like to return to secular work or be involved in paid-ministry. 

 

If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like James, you can find all the information here.

Rowan Corrigan

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. In this week’s post Rowan Corrigan, a first-year ministry apprentice at St Columba’s Free Church in Edinburgh, tells us about her experience as an apprentice so far.

 

Rowan Corrigan

What did you do before your apprenticeship?
Before my apprenticeship, I studied Physics for 4 years at Heriot Watt before spending a year on the Relay programme with UCCF based at Napier University. 

 

What are you learning at Cornhill?
Cornhill is really helping me to be able to listen to God’s voice. I’m really enjoying digging so deeply into the Bible and unpacking its riches. Every week, I feel as though I am blown away by Jesus and His fulfilment of the Old Testament. It’s helping me to love Jesus more. 

 

What does ministry look like day to day?
The highlight of my week is always the teenager groups. It is such a joy to see so many young people excited and being built up to speak and live for Jesus throughout their years at high school. I spend a lot of time during the week meeting with a variety of women from around the congregation and am enjoying continuing to meet with students. 

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
A massive thing that I am learning right now is seeing how much of working in a church is learning to listen to God and to watch Him at work within the congregation. It’s an encouragement to see that all of the work is led by God and not by man. It is such an encouragement to watch the Spirit doing amazing things around the church daily.  

 

What are you learning through mentoring?
I am mentored by a woman at my church who I have been meeting with for the last 4 years. By openly talking about my struggles, I am often reminded and encouraged that we do not face the Christian life alone, and that we all walk together to bring us closer to Jesus. 

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I’m not really sure what my plans will be post-apprenticeship. I’d love to stay in ministry, potentially as a women’s worker for a church.

 

 

If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Rowan, you can find all the information here.

Benjamin White

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. In this week’s post Ben White explains his work as a first-year ministry apprentice at Cornerstone Community Church in Stirling.

 

Benjamin White

What did you do before your apprenticeship?
Last year I spent ten months working with UCCF, through the ‘Relay Programme’. Prior to that I studied ‘International Relations and Geography’ at The University of Aberdeen.

 

What are you learning on your study programme?
I spend Monday and Tuesdays studying at Cornhill. It’s split into two aspects; we have lectures where we have been studying Exodus, looking at a Bible overview and how to preach. The other aspect is preaching class, where we give expositions of a given passage ourselves. It has been a real joy to study God’s word in more detail and to have an opportunity to think about how one expounds on God’s word. It’s a really great time!

 

What does ministry look like day to day?
I work alongside Cat Thomas at Cornerstone and together we head up the Student and Youth ministry. That takes up the bulk of our time but I also help with the ‘Mainly Music’ toddlers’ group on a Friday, I attend and sometimes lead my Church Community Group, alongside being involved with many other aspects of the church family. 

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
It is hard to condense what have been a really excellent two months so far. I really love Cornerstone and count it as a blessing to be doing a ministry apprenticeship here. We have been preparing a Bible overview with the youth and it has been great to show them how the Bible fits together and how parts of the Bible that they thought dry and dull are filled with excitement and ultimately point to Jesus. With the students we are looking at what it means to be a Christian; it’s been really encouraging to see them challenged by God’s word and to how they are responding to it. I am learning how to prepare and teach different sorts of biblical literature. The Bible overview has been particularly challenging in trying to distil the key themes of the Bible, but it has been a rewarding process and my own understanding of God’s word is growing.

 

What are you learning through mentoring?
I am mentored by our Pastor Calum Jack. I really enjoy our time together every Wednesday, but it can often be challenging reflecting on where I am not honouring God with my life. I have always struggled with perfectionism and it has been really great learning how to work to God’s expectations not mine. 

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I have a number of different plans that I am pursuing. I know that wherever I end up I want to be proclaiming Jesus’ name in whatever opportunities I have.

 

If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Ben, you can find all the information here.

 

Kat Andrews

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. This week Kat Andrews shares about her experience as a second-year ministry apprentice at Bruntsfield Evangelical Church in Edinburgh.

Kat Andrews

What did you do before your apprenticeship?
Before the trainee programme I worked in museums doing collections care/conservation. Most recently I worked for the National Trust for Scotland in a couple of their Edinburgh properties.

 

What are you learning on your study programme?
I am studying at Cornhill as part of my apprenticeship. I’m learning a range of different things, but one of the things that most stands out is that I’m getting a better grasp of how the whole Bible fits together and how the wider context helps us understand it. I’m also enjoying the opportunity to study some of the more difficult parts of the Bible, for example we recently looked at Revelation. We also discuss some of the practical aspects of what working in ministry is actually like, which is really useful. Getting to spend time with other people who are doing something similar to me is also a great opportunity to share experiences and support each other.

 

What does ministry look like day to day?
Day-to-day my ministry at Bruntsfield is quite varied. My main focus is student and youth work, along with some more general women’s ministry. I meet with students to study the Bible one-to-one and help organise and run student lunches. I also do Bible studies with the teenagers during Sunday services. I lead a weekly women’s Bible study and also help with the food bank we run. The rest of my time is spent preparing the Bible studies and my Cornhill assignments.

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
I think the most important thing I am learning from the trainee programme is a growing love for God and for teaching his word. One of the greatest joys in the last year or so has been seeing women of all ages grow in their relationship with God as we study the Bible together.

 

What are you learning through mentoring?
I meet regularly with Alistair, the assistant pastor at Bruntsfield, to discuss my work and different areas of ministry. I also meet regularly with an older lady in the church and, externally, with the women’s worker from another church.

This, along with spending time working alongside the other members of the staff team, is giving me a growing understanding of what working in ministry is like and is helping me to develop my own gifts.

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I have a growing desire to see teenagers and students particularly, as well as women in general, grow in their relationship with God and develop their gifts whilst serving the church. After the trainee programme I would, God willing, love to work for a church in a women’s/student worker role.

 

If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Kat, you can find all the information here.

Jack Strain

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. This week, Jack Strain describes his experience as a first-year apprentice at St Silas Church in Glasgow.

 

Jack StrainWhat did you do before your apprenticeship?
I was working as a doctor and had just finished my FY2 year.

 

What are you learning on your study programme at Cornhill?
Currently learning more about how to present/teach God’s word, by giving short explanations of chunks of scripture and being evaluated on the clarity and accuracy of those. Also spending time in Exodus as a worked example of how to approach and teach a Bible book.

 

What does ministry look like day to day?
I am involved in students and kids work at church. For me that means meeting up with students one-to-one to read God’s word and leading weekly student Bible studies, as well as helping to lead a Sunday school group for 8-10s.

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
The most important thing that I am learning so far is that it’s important to keep your head up and look at the big picture of what God is doing and who God is to keep you going day to day, otherwise there are loads of small tasks that you can get bogged down in without trying to see the bigger picture.

The highlights have been seeing new students settle at St Silas and want to come and hear from God through his word, as well as some of the students who were there before who seem to be stuck in with serving at church and CU and are already trying to live for Jesus wholeheartedly.

 

What are you learning through mentoring?
I am being mentored by Martin Ayers the Rector at St Silas. I think his mentoring is currently helping me learn the importance of picking up your convictions and running with them. The worked example that I have been involved with that is starting something new at church, in particular an evangelistic course that we haven’t previously run.

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I would like to continue into full-time vocational ministry.

 

If you would like to give to the work of the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Jack, you can find all the information here.

 

 

Sarah Carson

Each week, we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. In today’s post, Sarah Carson, a second-year ministry trainee at St Andrews Free Church, tells up about her apprenticeship experience.

 

Sarah Carson

What did you do before your apprenticeship?
I studied Theology at St Andrews.

 

What are you learning on your study programme?
I love Cornhill and am learning so much there! We’re taught the basics of Bible handling and then given lots of opportunities to put what we learn into practice. We’re also given a overview of some key books of the Bible as well as studying how to teach different genres like Old Testament Narrative or New Testament letters. We also think practically about what it’s like to be in ministry and how we can best serve the people we work with, as well as having an introduction to some key Christian doctrines.

 

What does ministry look like day to day?
As part of my role I work mainly with students, reading the Bible one-to-one and in small group contexts seeking to disciple and encourage them in their knowledge of and love for Christ. There’s also lots of opportunity to train others in their ability to teach the Bible, and along with our women’s worker I work with the female Bible study leaders seeking to equip them for the ministry they’re involved in. I’m also involved in helping with the kids’ work, teaching Sunday School and Scramblers and helping to train our Sunday School teachers and do lots of administrative tasks for the day-to-day life of the church family. So, there’s lots to keep me busy, but I love it!

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
I’m learning just how central the Bible is to everything we do as a church and to the Christian life. One of the big things I’ve been learning and convicted of recently is that the gospel is the power of God and it’s sufficient both for Christians and non-Christians. It’s such a privilege to read the Bible with Christians who are at different stages of life and Christian maturity and to point them to Christ in the highs and lows of life. One of the things I was most nervous about when starting the training scheme was reading the Bible one-to-one with people but it’s definitely become one of my highlights. There’s nothing better than reading the Bible with someone and watching as they begin to understand some big Bible truth and think about how it applies to their life, while having your own heart changed and faith encouraged at the same time!

 

What are you learning through mentoring?
I meet regularly with our women’s worker to discuss all things work, life, and ministry. I’ve been learning so much through these regular meetings as I learn from her wisdom and life and ministry experience and also as we talk about different areas of theology and holiness. We’ve read and discussed books which have helped me not only in my discipleship of others but also my own personal growth as I seek to put sins to death and grow in Christlikeness.

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I think this is the question that every apprentice dreads! But I’d love to be involved in ministry in some capacity, whether that’s in a full-time capacity or as an active member of a local congregation. Throughout my time as an apprentice I have seen so much of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes of a church and have grown in my understanding of and appreciation for the gospel, and so with the skills and knowledge I have gained I would love to be using them to serve the Church, wherever that is and whatever that looks like!

 

If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Sarah, you can find all the information here.